Tool Tips - July 2007
Whenever I have to use my reciprocating saw to remove toilet bolts or extract a stubborn faucet due to the nuts having corroded into a single unit with the shanks, I found that it pays to gently work as much clearance as you can get with pliers, screwdrivers, etc., before pulling out the recip saw.
After I obtain the clearance I need, I insert a thin pad of rubber gasket material between the sink or toilet surface and the saw blade. The result is that I don’t risk damaging the porcelain or metal finish on the fixtures and the gasket material actually “grips” the blade and makes it less likely to jump away from contact with the components that need removing.
White Collar Plumbing
Back To Size
When repairing copper plumbing lines that have frozen and broken, if the pipe has swollen so you can’t get a fitting onto it, take a flaring tool (the size of the pipe) and gently tighten down until the pipe is back to its original size. This will allow the fitting to go onto the pipe and make the repair.
My One Vice
To make my life as a repair plumber easier, I have attached a pipe vise onto a hitch ball mount that easily attaches to my van. Just secure the vise with a large nut and bolt and then weld the two together. You can also use a lock for the ball mount to prevent theft. This is much easier than dragging around a tripod. Works great for prefabrication or disassembly of valves, flanges, etc.
San Antonio, Texas